The captain leads his new look tomorrow night in the Southern Curtains against Middlesex in The Ageas Bowl.
He will be hoping for a better start than the county, in the 2021 tournament, in which they lost five of the first six completed matches.
Characteristically, Hampshire then got five wins in a row, jumping from the bottom to make it to fourth place in terms of speed. The eighth consecutive win in the quarterfinals led them to the first day of the final since 2017, where they suffered a painful defeat to Somerset.
This year, Hampshire has two new players overseas, who are the best terrorists Ben McDermott and Nathan Ellis, who played on the same side of “Hobart Hurricanes” in the last campaign of the Big Bash League and are current partners in Australia international T20 team.
Aneurin Donald is back after two years due to injury, while another major striker, Ross Whiteley, has been recruited on a contract with only a white ball.
Hampshire’s supreme order certainly comes with the promise of borders.
McDermott was the top scorer in BBL 2021/22 with 577 at 48.08, while White’s highest score in the T20 is 91 unbeaten points, which he scored 35 goals while playing for Worcestershire in 2015. The left-hander hit only two fours, but six!
Whiteley was recruited after playing with Vince and Liam Dawson in the Southern Brave title, based in The Ageas Bowl, in the first summer edition of Hundred.
There he scored an unbeaten 44 of 19 goals – with four sixes and four sixes – in the final victory over Birmingham Phoenix at Lord’s, his highest score in the tournament.
“Ross liked it here at The Hundred,” said Vince. “Chalkey (Giles White, director of cricket in Hampshire) mentioned his name several times before, but he was happy in Worcestershire. When he said he was looking for a new challenge, it was unreasonable. “
Meanwhile, Donald scored 51 of 32 goals against Middlesex in 2019 when he opened with Vince.
It could very well have been the combination used in this year’s starting game, although McDermott scored his runs for Hobart in the winter also at the top of the line.
“Aneurin is one of the most explosive bats,” Vince said. “And Ross Whiteley can also be one of the most devastating reflectors in county cricket.”
Elsewhere in the top order, Joe Weatherley enjoyed a breakthrough T20 campaign in 2021, making 410 runs – the highest in the county – with a staggering strike rate of 141.
He helped Hampshire achieve an incredible 185 to win in just 13 overs in the final group game against Glamorgan, breaking 43, not just 13 posts. In the semifinals he scored a T20 top 71 of 50 goals, five sixes.
“Joe had a great year last year,” Vince said. “He showed what he is capable of. Hopefully he will be able to continue this form. And he collects his runs in different ways, so he always keeps the opposition in mind.
“We feel that the team at the beginning of this season (compared to last year) is in a better position.
“Nathan Ellis will add his ability to play ball at death and in power games.
“I just want everyone to come out and declare themselves, do what we did in the second half of last season.”
Of course, I haven’t mentioned the pearl in the crown in the Hampshire T20 bat, which is Vince himself.
It’s been 12 years since he helped the county win the tournament for the first time in his T20 debut campaign.
With 7,525 career runs, he is the 29th best beater in T20 cricket in the world. Only four English qualified players – Alex Hales, Luke Wright, Ravi Bopara and Joss Butler – scored more.
Only three players – Wright, Ricky Wessels and Joe Danley – have scored more than 4,199 runs since the start of the English county of T20 in 2003.
And no English player has ever scored more T20 runs in a calendar year than Vince, scoring 1390 in 2019.
He scored 55 points in England’s last international T20 tournament against the West Indies in late January. Since then, however, there have been three ducks in six games in the Pakistani Super League with Quetta Gladiators.
Vince knows that T20 cricket has changed a lot since its debut.
“Success with the white ball in England … if you want to get to the side, you have to play a certain way. This has improved the level of qualification.
“Also now in filing less time to recover.”